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BC-AP News Digest 5:30 am

May 18, 2019

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-LEGAL FIGHT _ For all President Donald Trump’s talk of winning, his lawyers are using a legal argument that many scholars say is a pretty sure loser to try to defy congressional attempts to investigate him. Yet Trump’s lawyers may end up delaying the probes with their argument, and that could be a win in itself. By Jessica Gresko and Mark Sherman. SENT: 790 words, photos. WITH: CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE _ As House Democrats plod ahead investigating Trump, and run into unprecedented stonewalling, they are pursuing a long-game. SENT: 700 words, photos.

ABORTION-RAPE TESTIMONIALS _ As one Republican legislature after another has pressed forward with restrictive abortion bills in recent months, they have been confronted with raw and emotional testimony about the consequences of such laws. Female lawmakers and other women have stepped forward to tell searing, personal stories about being raped _ in some cases speaking about the attacks for the first time to anyone but a loved one or their closest friend. By Julie Carr Smyth and Christina A. Cassidy. UPCOMING: 980 words, photos by noon. Photos. This story will move as the Sunday Spotlight.

ABORTION-MISSOURI _ Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature approves a sweeping bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, joining Alabama and other states that have moved to severely restrict the procedure. Republican Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign the bill. The ban would be among the most restrictive in the U.S. It would include exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for violating the eight-week cutoff. Women who receive abortions wouldn’t be prosecuted. By Summer Ballentine. SENT: 450 words, photo, developing. WITH: ABORTION-LOUISIANA GOVERNOR _ Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, who has repeatedly bucked the national leaders of his Democratic Party on abortion rights, is about to sign legislation that would ban the procedure as early as six weeks of pregnancy. SENT: 830 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA GAS LEAK _ A 2015 blowout at a natural gas well that led to the largest-known release of methane in U.S. history was the result of a corroded pipe casing and safety failures by a California utility, an investigation report finds. By Brian Melley. SENT: 590 words, photos.

OHIO STATE-TEAM DOCTOR _ A now-dead Ohio State team doctor sexually abused at least 177 male students over nearly two decades, and university officials knew what he was doing and did little to stop him, according to an investigative report released by the school. Dr. Richard Strauss committed the abuse from 1979 to 1997 _ nearly his entire time at Ohio State _ in episodes involving students from at least 16 sports, plus his work at the student health center and his off-campus clinic, the report said. By Kantele Franko and Julie Carr Smyth. SENT: 990 words, photos.

IRAQ-CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE _ When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with Iraqi officials in Baghdad last week as tensions mounted between America and Iran, he delivered a nuanced message: If you’re not going to stand with us, stand aside. The message, relayed to The Associated Press by two Iraqi government officials, underscores Iraq’s delicate position _ its government is allied with both sides of an increasingly tense confrontation. By Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Bassem Mroue. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. WITH: GULF TENSIONS-GAS PRICES _ A rare mix of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and China is tugging oil prices in opposite directions and creating uncertainty over where they might land. Deteriorating trade talks between the United States and China have threatened to drive down the cost of oil and gasoline. By Cathy Bussewitz and Michelle Chapman. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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ALEXANDER HAMILTON LETTER _ A letter written by Alexander Hamilton in 1780 to the Marquis de Lafayette that was stolen from the Massachusetts state archives decades ago has been found, and now an effort is underway to return it. SENT: 350 words, photo.

PEOPLE-KARDASHIAN BABY NAME _ To messages of support and puzzlement, Kim Kardashian West has, seemingly, revealed her newborn’s name: Psalm West. SENT: 130 words, photo.

PIMLICO-HORSE DEATH _ A filly collapses and dies while running at Pimlico Race Course, the day before the track hosts the second leg of the Triple Crown. SENT: 430 words, photos.

LUNCH LADY-JOB LOST _ A company offers to rehire a school cafeteria worker whom it fired for giving a student lunch for free. SENT: 120 words.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-WARREN-BLACK WOMEN _ Elizabeth Warren is gaining unlikely traction with black women who are debating whom to back in a historically diverse Democratic presidential primary. Several black women say they have been impressed with Warren’s steady stream of policy proposals. By Errin Haines Whack. SENT: 770 words, photos.

TRUMP’S ATTORNEY GENERAL _ Attorney General William Barr is becoming the president’s favorite lawyer. He’s not only enthusiastically embracing Donald Trump’s political agenda, he’s gone all-in by casting special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as vindication for Trump and hinting that the real wrongdoing was committed by those who launched the investigation. By Michael Balsamo and Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 1,210 words, photos.

TRUMP-IRAN POLITICS _ President Trump won the White House pledging to wind down the nation’s many foreign entanglements and put “America First.” But as his administration has sent mixed signals on the prospects of a military conflict with Iran, Trump’s campaign trail promise is being put to the test. By Zeke Miller and Steve Peoples. SENT: 990 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-JOE BIDEN _ Former Vice President Joe Biden is outlining his vision for unifying America in a high-profile speech set in his native Pennsylvania. SENT: 120 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words after 1 p.m. speech.

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NATIONAL

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PREGNANT WOMAN SLAIN-BABY TAKEN _ A pregnant Chicago teen who was killed and whose baby was cut from her womb was strangled while being shown a photo album of the late son and brother of her attackers, says who is urging a judge to keep the defendants locked up. SENT: 920 words, photos, video.

BORDER ARRESTS-FLIGHTS _ The Border Patrol begins flying migrants who are arrested in South Texas to San Diego and is considering other flights to Detroit, Miami and Buffalo, New York. SENT: 450 words, photos. WITH: MIGRANT INFLUX-FLORIDA _ Officials in South Florida say they are preparing for an influx of immigrants being sent by the federal government as the number of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border grows rapidly. SENT: 720 words, photo.

WHALES-SLOWING SHIPS _ Federal officials are promoting a campaign to get ships to slow down as they approach San Francisco and other California ports so they are less likely to injure or kill whales. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

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INTERNATIONAL

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MEXICO-US-CORRUPTION _ The U.S. Treasury Department slaps sanctions on a Mexican former governor already under suspicion in his home state of Nayarit, along with a Mexican judge, under corruption and narcotics statutes for purported drug cartel ties. SENT: 450 words.

SYRIA _ U.N. officials and dozens of international aid groups warn that humanitarian conditions in Syria’s northwest have reached a new “crisis point,” as government troops push to retake the rebels’ last stronghold. SENT: 510 words, photos.

BREXIT _ Talks between Britain’s Conservative government and the opposition Labour Party seeking a compromise over Brexit broke down without agreement Friday, plunging the country back into a morass of uncertainty over its departure from the European Union. Each side blamed the other for the collapse. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the talks with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government had “gone as far as they can.” SENT: 700 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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FILM REVIEW-ROCKETMAN _ Whatever you say about Dexter Fletcher’s glossy, glittering Elton John blinged-out biopic “Rocketman,” a shiny sequin of a movie, it doesn’t lack for sparkle. Like its flamboyant subject, it’s a movie outfitted to the nines in dazzle and verve, even if it’s gotten all dressed up with nowhere to go but the most conventional places. By AP Film Writer Jake Coyle. SENT: 760 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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GLF--PGA CHAMPIONSHIP _ Brooks Koepka backs up his record-tying 63 with a round at the PGA Championship that puts him in a league of his own. He opens with three birdies in a four-hole stretch and makes three birdies over the closing four holes for a 5-under 65 that breaks by two shots the lowest 36-hole score _ 128 _ in any major. By AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Rich Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, (ext. 7636). Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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